The session started with a refresher of what PebblePad is and its development over the years. PebblePad is the market leader in the ePortfolio world and we have been using it at UoC since 2005. All staff and students have accounts at UoC which can be accessed from the Staff and Student hubs and even from within Blackboard itself. The system is complemented by a wonderful app, PebblePocket, which is free from Google Play and iTunes. If anyone leaves the university, they can register for an alumni account, which is free forever.
We outlined a few of the many ways PebblePad can be used: creating a wide variety of assets such as portfolios, blogs, activity logs, or by creating assets from the in-built templates provided by the system. These assets can then be shared with other PebblePad users or those without PebblePad account. Items can also be created and provided with a weblink which the intended audience can click on without the need for a username and password, so it’s also an excellent web publishing tool.
We then continued to talk about how PebblePad can be used for assessment and the various ways of getting the best out of students. Custom templates can be designed (workbooks) – usually by academic staff – which can provide the student with structured scaffolding on which to build their work. We also looked at the many ways of giving feedback – both formative and summative.
The session ended with a quick demonstration of how to easily add items to PebblePad and we had a glimpse of some good examples of templates currently in use at the University of Cumbria.
Once users login, PebblePad provide lots of in-built support via their homepage (called the Learning Centre) and we in AQD have supplemented this information with various articles and helpsheets via our TEL Knowledgebase which can be found here.
Anyone interested in using PebblePad with their students is encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to start off interesting conversations!
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The session started with a brief recap of how Blackboard usage has grown at the university, with the system now being classed as “mission critical”. A move to module-site delivery and a consistent approach resulted in a set of protocols being developed, and these were shown during the webinar, along with other support available, such as a staff-facing knowledgebase.
Access to these resources can be found via the Staff tab on Blackboard, along with the route to accessing your Blackboard module site, which was demonstrated during the webinar.
The option to review and reuse existing content was highlighted, and a tour of an exemplar site showed how a course could be organised; following the protocols and making the most of the tools available.
A quick walkthrough of adding a profile picture to your site, and making a screen-recording introduction to your course then followed.
Finally, there was a quick update on some system changes that are being planned for 2018/19
A additional question asked outside of the recording was about creating a banner on Blackboard.
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View “preparing and enhancing your Blackboard site” webinar recording (university login required)